Hartman Center, our Penn Central Conference Camp and Retreat gathering spot, is nestled in the 7 Mountains area of Central Pennsylvania between Lewistown and State College- Milroy, to be exact.
The Hartman Center features acres of woods, fields and outdoor recreation areas including a pond and pool. It also has a lodge, dining hall, meeting space and a chapel. There are program buildings including a Nature Nook, and a core of cabins with conveniences and platform tents, which grace the grounds. The initial building, referred to as The Stone House, also is used for group camping and retreat rentals. It was the original farm house of the Hartman family, thus the name Hartman Center. It often is referred to as “The Sunshine Place,” a place where The Son is always shining.
Although not always under the auspices of the UCC, the camp has been in existence for 85 years. New buildings have been added and older buildings adapted, but the camping spirit remains and has been shared through time intergenerationally. The beauty and peace of the camp is infectious. Visitors, campers, summer service team (SST’s), staff and volunteer camp directors infuse the grounds of God’s Creation. It is as Brian Sirchio’s song suggests, a “marked place”.
Donations of time, talent and of course monetary offerings always are needed and appreciated. If you go for a work day or have the ability to stay over, lodging is provided and the meals are fulfilling.
The camp recently has been accredited by the American Camping Association and follows the guidelines of the same including newly required clearances for Pennsylvania CPSL (Child Protective Service Laws).
Other than summer camps and scheduled retreats. Rentals are available.
Current needs include the relocation and refurbishing of the Health Center, a nurse is on staff for weekly camps and receives a small stipend plus room and board, and stack convection ovens for the kitchen, like those at New Covenant. These are both major cost essentials.
Please remember Hartman Center with your Mission Giving. Look for more program information by accessing Hartman Center’s website at www.hartmancenter.com.
– Gail Landers, camper, former grand camp director, retreat participant and Nature Nook coordinator and New Covenant Social Awareness Committee member